Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Terror victim: Tunisian patriot or Zionist?

With thanks Ahuva; Maier

A controversy has erupted over one of the Paris attack victims buried yesterday in Israel: Yoav Hattab, whose family lives in Tunis. Was he a Tunisian patriot, or a Zionist? Of course one could be both, if Tunisians did not consider Zionism as an expression of disloyalty.

Lisa Goldman in the+ 972 Magazine writes:

“Tunisia is bereaved!” read the main headline on the front page of Sunday’s Le Temps, a French-language newspaper based in Tunis. Three of the people shot to death in Friday’s hostage-taking at a Parisian branch of the French kosher supermarket chain Hyper Cacher, were Tunisian citizens. One of them was Yoav Hattab, the 21 year-old son of the main rabbi of Tunis. Hattab, who was in Paris to complete his graduate studies, was a patriot: in a photo on the front page of Le Temps, he grins proudly while holding up a blue-inked index finger, proof that he had voted in his country’s first democratic election following the 2011 revolution.

Tunisian newspaper_resized

"For young Tunisians on social media, Hattab has come to represent their hopes for their country. They are sharing and quoting a France 2 television interview with Rabbi Benjamin Hattab, the dead man’s father, in which he speaks passionately of the easy, mutually respectful relationship between Jews and Muslims in Tunisia."

Political analyst Jonathan Spyer takes a different position on his Facebook page: 

" An article recently published at the anti-Israel '972' site is a misrepresentation of Yoav Hattab, one of the Jews murdered last week at the Hyper Cacher. The article falsely misrepresents Yoav Hatab as primarily a 'Tunisian patriot'. So, to clarify:

Yoav Hattab was a Hebrew speaking Zionist Jew who was planning his aliyah at the time of his murder. I was at his funeral today, where I spoke with people who knew him. The funeral was in Jerusalem, surrounded by Israeli flags and concluded with Hatikvah, as his family wished. In addition, contrary to their claims in an article in Ynet today, nothing was stopping Yoav's Muslim Tunisian friends from coming to his funeral today in Jerusalem, had they wished to. They would have been welcome guests. They chose not to come. This decision in itself, along with the many instances of desecration of Jewish graves in Tunisia, point to the wisdom of his family's decision to bury their murdered son in Israel, where his grave will be kept safe."

Spyer's account of the funerals (Weekly Standard)

Haaretz (behind a paywall ) corroborates Spyer's view:

"Most friends who meet on Birthright Israel trips get to look forward to lifelong connections with their fellow participants.

Yoav Hattab never got that chance. The son of the Chief Rabbi of Tunis, who traveled to Israel on Birthright last month, had only been back in Paris for a few weeks when he was gunned down by the terrorist who laid siege to the Hyper Cacher supermarket on Friday.

"The 21-year-old, Hattab was a student when he signed up for one of the free Birthright tours to Israel offered to young Diaspora Jews around the world. Hattab grew up in La Goulette, a coastal town in the suburbs of Tunis, the Daily Mail reported, but had moved to Paris to study marketing and international trade.
But one of his Birthright companions said his ultimate aim was to move to Israel, even though the Birthright trip was his first time in the country.

Nathan Levi, 24 is originally from Haifa, but now lives in Be'er Sheva where he studies geography and environmental development at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He was one of four Israelis who joined Hattab’s French 30-member Birthright group which travelled across Israel from December 24 to January 2nd.

"He was so in love in Israel - he spend much of the trip with the Israeli flag draped over his back. His dream was to come to Israel and make aliya together with his whole family from Tunis.”

“He was so upbeat, always motivated, and he really loved Israel with all his heart. I had thought that this was his first trip to Israel, but it turns out that he was here last summer and it was his second time. He said his Birthright experience made him want even more to come here, he really loved the country and he was euphoric when he finished the trip. He said if he had any doubts about making aliya before, this trip put an end to it, it was exactly what he wanted to do.”


Sylvia said...

This dancing on the blood is totally indecent.

There should be a thought for their families back home and other Tunisian Jews who now might stand accused of dual loyalty (at best).

The fact is he has a Tunisian passport and he voted in Tunisian elections as a responsible citizen of that country.

His father was the only one who refused to make a speech at the the funeral. He only said that God has called his son to Him and he accepts His judgment with love.

suzy pirotte vidal said...

All this blood is not the end of antisemitism
I lllistened to Val's speech twice and not a lot of ed with he called himself Jew after the killings!
If all the leaders of our world had his guts,klling Jews
they would think before (that is if they have any brains)

Anonymous said...

Jan. 14, 2015

When it comes to "dancing on the blood" it's hard to beat the ritualistic behaviour of most Muslims:Regardless of what THEY look like or where THEY come from. And there's many kilometers of film stock to prove it. In "grande guignole" couleur ! Does any one remember how THEY celebrated 9/11 ? In the most aggressive & public way possible. Often cheering the event in the schools of THEIR host societies. Usually preferring to do it in the presence of women teachers. Muslim communities around the globe,are celebrating last week's slaughters in France a bit less publically.But with equal enthusiasm. After all,in Islamic terms,it's sort of a 'mitzvah' to do stuff like that. It's NOT 'extreme' or 'marginal' or even criminal to THEM.As for accusations of "dual loyalty" from basket-case Muslim governances, what does any thinking person expect from them?
Don't worry though,folks: They're gearing up for the next round. Which could take place anywhere, any time, to anybody. In the largest numbers possible. And all that denial and pats on THEIR heads for participating in "feel-good" mass rallies won't stop THEM.Is there any doubt what has to be done ? Democratically, humanely. But with a decent respect for the safety and national interests of THEIR hapless host societies. No country that has received Muslim
immigrants in such vast numbers over the last 50 years,can dare to sing NOW, "Je ne regret rien".

Norman L. Roth, Toronto, Canada .

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Frankly, Sylvia, Shulamit Aloni used to use the term "dancing on the blood" [רוקדים על הדם] in order to smear and ridicule people who were upset over the many mass murderous terrorist attacks in the 1990s after Oslo. Just when does concern over the victims of terrorism become "dancing on the blood"?

Anonymous said...

It's a month later, and some Americans have apparently not yet read your blog that mentions that the victims were Tunisian Jews.
When asked if the attack was really random, Psaki said, “They were not all victims of one background or one nationality, so I think what they mean by that is, I don’t know that they spoke to the targeting of a grocery store.”